In this series, we’ll be hiking the burger trail to find the latest, greatest and most delicious burgers in Milwaukee. Click here for an explanation of the criteria used to rate each burger. Where have we been? Check out the complete catalog of burger reviews here. And, if you enjoyed the addition of veggie burgers to the mix, you can look forward to more of those. I'll be adding at least one veggie burger review to the mix every month.
Fuzzy’s Sports Pub & Grill
627 E. Main St. Waukesha
Last summer, I trekked out to Waukesha to explore the wonders of Fuzzy's Sports Pub and Grill, a neighborhood bar that’s known as much for its food offerings – particularly its impressive menu of scratch-made breakfast dishes – as it is for its drinks.
While I was there, I indulged in one of their more popular breakfast offerings, the Country Scrambler featuring crisp hashbrowns topped with eggs, sauteed onions, green peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, your choice of meat and Fuzzy's "famous" housemade cheese sauce ($7.99).
However, after visiting I also made a mental note that I needed to get back to the pub to try the Mean Jean, a burger named for a beloved – yet slightly gnarly – waitress who’d worked at Fuzzy's over two decades ago. It took me a while, but I finally made that pilgrimage.
The Mean Jean features the guest’s choice of either a one-third- or one-half-pound burger cooked to order and topped with two slices of American cheese and an impressive pile of housemade haystack onions ($9.75 or $11.50 with fries).
There’s no doubt that this burger makes an entrance. It stood at least six inches high thanks to the generous pile of housemade onion strings stacked atop the comparatively small burger. It’s bun was glossy and its burger glistening with fat from the grill and draped with a generous portion of melted American cheese.
The soft, sweet brioche bun was a looker, not just for its glossy top, but also for its beautifully toasted underside, which was particularly crisp around the edges. It stood up like a champ to the greasy, diner-style third-pound burger patty.
Despite being upstaged by the crispy onion strings, the burger was no slacker. The delightfully irregular hand-pattied beef was moderately juicy and greasy in the best possible way.
I ordered mine medium-rare, and it came out near-perfectly cooked, with a nice exterior crust and a beautifully pink center. The meat was tasty and nicely seasoned; it even possessed the slight kick of black pepper, which I appreciated. Even better, its meaty flavor did a pretty admirable job of standing up against the cheese and onion strings.
The toppings on the burger were simple, but impactful. The cheese was beautifully melted and applied with a generous hand. And those onion strings… they were crunchy and sweet, giving the burger a good amount of flavor, as well as texture. Even after removing about half of them before eating the burger (for the simple sake of having mercy on my jaw), they offered a crispy, sweet, slightly greasy presence that made the burger a fun, indulgent treat.
Ten bucks for a burger and fries? Yeah, that’s a great price. And if you’re looking for a burger that delivers on a promise of greasy, over-the-top goodness, this is a nice way to spend that Hamilton.
If you’re looking for a mouthwateringly greasy burger with plenty of personality, you’ll find it at Fuzzy’s.
Fuzzy's Sports Pub & Grill's kitchen is open Monday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The bar is open every day all day until close.
Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.
Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon.
Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.